Are you considering a major change, but are you having trouble pulling the trigger? Do you keep weighing the pros and cons to try to arrive at a definitive choice?
- You’re considering starting a business, but you’re not sure whether you’ve got what it takes.
- You’re considering traveling indefinitely, but you worry that it would be too exhausting.
- You’re considering moving to a different city, but you worry that you’d miss your existing social circle too much.
Often, more thinking won’t bring you more clarity. What does bring clarity is action. But to get that clarity, you do have to commit to the action.
If you make a change while you hesitate, you might constantly second-guess yourself. That second-guessing can slow you down or, worse, it can cause you to give up the very first time you encounter some difficulty. (This is what Seth Godin calls The Dip.)
So, what if you tried this thing that you’re contemplating—but tried it for a fixed amount of time? Treat it as an experiment.
Let’s say you commit to making the change for three months. Or one, or six, if you think that makes more sense. Any substantial, fixed period of time. You commit yourself to taking action on this new thing and you commit to evaluating at the end (so you don’t sabotage yourself by second-guessing).
What’s the downside? If you don’t take action, you might spend more time debating the pros and cons than it would take to run the experiment—and mental debate won’t offer you any clarity at all.